Putting My Mom on a Diet: Week 16 Meal Plan and Weigh-In

by Andie Mitchell on October 6, 2013

For new readers, here’s a brief refresher: I’m putting my mom on a diet, here is the plan I designed for her, and here are her weekly updates: week 1week 2week 3week 4week 5week 6week 7week 8week 9week 10week 11week 12, week 13, week 14, week 15. Welcome!

 

Putting My Mom on a Diet

Monday

Breakfast: Ezekiel English Muffin (160)

*Andie note: Again with the dry muffin. These are the things that keep me up at night (not really but kind of).

Lunch: Chef Salad: Salad base (3 large handfuls mixed greens, ½ cup chopped bell pepper, ½ cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup shredded carrot, 6-8 cherry tomatoes = 50 calories) + 2 ounces roasted turkey breast deli meat (2 thick slices or 3 thin slices=60 calories) + 1 ounce smoked ham deli meat (1 thick slice=30 cals) + 1 ounce provolone cheese (100) + 1 hard-boiled egg (70) + 2 tablespoons Ken’s Light Honey Mustard Dressing  (80) = 390

Snack: 1/2 ounce walnuts (about 12 walnut halves = 100) + 1 Honey Crisp apple (100) = 200

*Andie note: Mom ate Honey Crisp apples every day because it’s the only appropriate thing to do in fall in Massachusetts. We both love them, but even more? We love when our obsessions are normalized by seasonality. Get some.

tuna noodle casserole

Dinner: Tuna Noodle Casserole (515) + 1 1/2 cups chopped romaine salad (10) + 1 tablespoon Ken’s Light Caesar dressing (40) = 565

*Andie note: Old school comfort food.

Dessert: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1465

….

Tuesday

same B, L, S as Monday (750)

lighter fried fish sandwich

Dinner: Lighter Fried Fish Sandwich (390) + 1 tablespoon tartar sauce (~35) + 2 cups steamed broccoli (100) = 525

same dessert as Monday (150)

Total: 1425

….

Wednesday

same B, L, S as Monday (750)

Dinner: Bunless cheeseburger (4 oz 85% lean ground beef = 240 + 1 oz  cheddar cheese (100) = 340) + 2 tablespoons ketchup (40) + 2 cups Parmesan roasted cauliflower (get the recipe in this post = 120) 480

same dessert as Monday (150)

Total: 1380

….

Thursday

same B as Monday (160)

Lunch: PB & J Wrap
1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Wrap (100) + 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter (200) + 2 tablespoons Bonne Maman strawberry preserves (100) = 400
+ 1 cup red grapes (60) = 460

*Andie note: Let me tell you something: Bonne Maman is, in terms of commercial-quality jams and jellies, the best. It’s what I’d always choose at the supermarket. But let me tell you another thing [that Mom disagrees with]: their raspberry preserves are the ones you should be eating.

Snack: 12 almonds (80) + 1 Honey Crisp apple (100) = 180

steak with sweet potatoes

Dinner: 5 ounces NY strip steak (60 calories per ounce = 300) + 1 1/2 cups brown sugar roasted sweet potatoes (210) + 1 1/2 cups mixed salad (20) + 1 tablespoon Ken’s Steak House Creamy French dressing (65) = 595

Make the brown sugar sweet potatoes: (2 servings) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash, dry, and cut 2 medium sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil, taking care to coat all sides of each cut potato piece. Spread the potatoes on a large, rimmed baking sheet and season generously with salt (about 1/2 teaspoon). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until fork tender, flipping (as best you can) halfway. Remove the pan from the oven (but keep the oven on!) and sprinkle the potatoes with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, shuffling them around the pan so that the sugar adheres to them. Return the pan to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. The sugar should caramelize and form a light, sweet coating on the potatoes. Serve immediately.

Dessert: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1545

….

Friday

Breakfast: 1 1/2 cups Cascadian Farm Honey Nut O’s cereal (165) + 1 banana (100) + 1 cup 1% milk (110) = 375

Out to lunch: cup of tomato basil soup (150) + 1/2 grilled cheese sandwich (300) = 450

Snack: Vanilla cupcake from a local bakery (400)

tacos

Dinner: Beef Tacos
2 small flour tortillas (80 calories each = 160) + 4 ounces taco-seasoned 93% lean ground beef (170 for beef alone + 20 for seasoning = 190) + 1 ounce pepper Jack cheese, shredded (100) + shredded lettuce and tomatoes (~10) = 460

Dessert: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1835

….

Saturday

Brunch: 4 slices hickory-smoked bacon (210) + 1 Thomas’ Whole Wheat English muffin (120) + 2 teaspoons butter (60) = 390

Dinner: 6 ounces roasted bone-in, skin-on chicken breast (skin removed before eating, 240) + 1 cup Near East Rice Pilaf (210) + 1 1/2 cups mixed salad (20) + 1 tablespoon Ken’s Light Caesar dressing (40) = 510

Dessert: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150) + Edy’s Outshine Lime Fruit Bar (70) = 220

Total: 1120

….

Sunday

Breakfast: 1 1/2 cups Cascadian Farm Honey Nut O’s cereal (165) + 1 banana (100) + 1 cup 1% milk (110) = 375

Lunch: PB & J Wrap
1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Wrap (100) + 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter (200) + 2 tablespoons Bonne Maman strawberry preserves (100) = 400

Dinner: 4 oz roasted pork loin (coated in olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, 160 for the pork alone, plus ~30 for oil = 190) + 2 tablespoons homemade gravy (~50) + 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (made with butter, whole milk = 175) + 2/3 cup sauteed zucchini and onion (in olive oil with garlic, 100) = 515

Dessert: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1440

….

 

Week 16 Weigh-In:

Starting Weight: 210

Week 1 Weight: 201.4 (down 8.6)

Week 2 Weight: 199.4 (down 2.0)

Week 3 Weight: 199 (down 0.4)

Week 4 Weight: 196 (down 3)

Week 5 Weight: 194.4 (down 1.6)

Week 6 Weight: 193 (down 1.4)

Week 7 Weight: 192 (down 1)

Week 8 Weight: 188.8 (down 3.2)

Week 9 Weight: 187.6 (down 1.2)

Week 10 Weight: 186.4 (down 1.2)

Week 11 Weight: 186.4 (same)

Week 12 Weight: 186 (down .4)

Week 13 Weight: 183.6 (down 2.4)

Week 14 Weight: 183.2 (down .4)

Week 15 Weight: 182 (down 1.2)

Week 16 Weight: 179.8 (down 2.2)

Total Pounds Lost: 30.2 pounds

 

Mom’s thoughts on progress so far:

“Hi everyone,

Hope you are all doing okay.  Thank you for your wonderful support and all the encouragement.  Well, Andrea took some pictures of me and I’m not so sure I look different.

As I mentioned last week, healthy eating is going pretty well, with the exception that I have spent the last two, okay three days convincing myself not to drive to White’s Pastry Shop or to get some penuche fudge at Volante Farms.  I don’t know why but I really have been craving fudge and an ice cream sundae these past few days.  I can tell you that every morning I am grateful that I didn’t go or get either food item.   Let’s face it, the holidays are fast approaching and I will have to work hard to find a way to balance all the treats that come between Halloween and the New Year. I figure it’s a good idea to start trying to make wise choices now.

A lot of you have asked what I drink during the day, and the answer is: some water and diet soda.  I have never been a coffee or tea drinker (despite my off the boat Irish Grandmother pushing it on me). I drink water in the morning usually, and have Diet Mountain Dew at lunch.  I drink the Diet Mountain Dew for the caffeine effect, as sometimes I am just dragging, and then I usually have another one around 3 pm.  I can’t drink it after that time because the caffeine makes it difficult to sleep.  With dinner, I usually have Fresca.  I have never liked Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi or flavored seltzer waters.  I just prefer drinks that are sweet and citrusy, like lemonade, and will have Crystal light Raspberry Lemonade mixed in water or Diet Snapple Cran-Raspberry or their diet peach iced tea.  Just like my eating habits, I don’t change the drinks up too much at all.  I was telling Andrea that a few times I have had Diet Mountain Dew after breakfast and I found that the aspartame/sweetness in this drink makes me super hungry, as if I hadn’t eaten breakfast at all.  I do know the dangers of aspartame and other chemicals in diet drinks, but I was always such a regular Coke drinker (maybe 6 a day) that I have to have some soda ’til I can break the bad habit.  This will take awhile but I am working on it!

As far as goals moving forward, I would like to reach 170 lbs by Christmas.  But with that said, I am grateful for each and every pound that I have already shed, and even more than that, I’m realizing that the best part of this whole journey has been about the improvement in the way I feel, physically and emotionally.  I appreciate those of you who have pointed this out, because it’s true.  The scale means something, not everything.  No matter what I weigh, I’m really just happy to be more in control of my life.

Take care,

Maryellen”

 

*Andie note: I’m really, really proud of you. I’m inspired. Also, this bit that you said deserves a shout on my megaphone: the scale is only one marker that we’re using to map this journey. You are wonderful for recognizing this, so now let’s commit to believing it, even when the going gets tough.
Let’s also continue to work on neutralizing your food guilt and releasing the shame you tend to experience surrounding your cravings (nothing to be ashamed of!), because from my lifetime of experience, I can tell you with certainty that they’re damaging. But I don’t mean to criticize; I want to celebrate you. Four months. Four months! Did you ever think we’d make it this far? I mean, without a restraining order?

 

Progress photos!

Putting My Mom on a Diet

Putting My Mom on a Diet

 

Putting My Mom on a Diet

 

CLICK HERE for a printable version of this week’s meal plan!

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Sammie October 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Wow, congrats Maryellen, really inspired by your progress. Comparing the pictures it’s incredible to see your progress in only 16 weeks. You should be so proud of yourself, and keep pushing on :)

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Melissa October 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm

It’s amazing – not only is it obvious that you’ve lost weight, you also look about ten years younger! You look amazing – congrats to you for all your progress thus far. I look forward every week to reading about your journey. You’re such an inspiration :)

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angela@spinachtiger October 7, 2013 at 1:06 am

She is very brave to do this, but what lovely results. In week 16, she looks like you and ten years younger. Bravo.

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ASuburbanLife October 7, 2013 at 1:27 am

Your mom looks at least 10 years younger – I see it in her face! You two are such a great team. Please let her know she’s a wonderful inspiration to me!

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Anne October 7, 2013 at 1:50 am

Maryellen, you look happier and ten years younger! Proud of you for taking it all in and seem to be enjoying the journey. It is important to like and feel comfortable with how you are going about all of this. I think you are being sensible but not going overboard. Sometimes I am not so sure you have quite enough calories on those 13?? calorie days. Keep on going and have a great week. Enjoy the process! REALLY important. AND look at yourself!!!!!!!!!! CHEERS!!!!!!

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Chezzie October 7, 2013 at 4:19 am

Wow! well done Maryellen, you look fantastic, as everybody else says years younger and much happier, keep up the good work!

Chezzie

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Ksenija @ Health Ninja October 7, 2013 at 4:32 am

You are not sure if you look so different? Damn Maryellen, you probably need a pair of glasses ;) you are a rockstar! I cannot believe how much you changed in only 4 month. You and Andie are such an inspiration, that I will definitely show this pictures to my mom and try to persuade her to change her eating habits a bit. It’s such a blessing that you share this journey with us and show that it really doesn’t matter when to start, as long as you do.

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Chezzie October 7, 2013 at 4:41 am

I think it is because you look into the mirror every day Maryellen that you don’t see the difference, even looking at the photos will not change your mind because you have a picture in your head but when you have reached your goal [which I am sure you will] compare the first and the last photo then you will see it. A good example is people who go on a sunbed, at first they have a lovely tan but then they go bright orange and finally nut brown like leather and everybody sees it but them. You look great and much happier!

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Susan Feller October 7, 2013 at 5:20 am

Maryellen, squint, pretend that your pictures are of someone you don’t know and perhaps then you will see the wonderful difference and how good you look….it’s hard to lose that image of yourself you’ve held for a long time and see the different person who’s emerged…you are doing so beautifully…and look fabulous!

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Kate October 7, 2013 at 6:48 am

Maryellen,

I see such a difference in your pics! Even though you are smiling in each, your 16 week photo there is such a glow! I’m so honored again, that you are open and sharing of this process with the world.

Having been through my own massive weight loss, I too kept my diet pop for a long time. I told everything that was one I had to keep. I think it is important to allow yourself those gradual changes. Eventually, you will lose the taste for that sweetness, I would guess. That’s what happened to me – I get my sweet elsewhere now. I completely kicked aspartame earlier this year. I only miss my diet pop at the movies now. I allow myself some stevia sweetened varieties instead when I truly need that old carbonated sweet drink.

Thank you again for everything you are doing to improve your health – all aspects of it! The world needs people like you showing us that living healthy is not a fad diet or obsessive exercise. You are an absolute gift to me!

Kate

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Gail October 7, 2013 at 8:10 am

Maryellen, you look absolutely gorgeous from head to toe! You have made amazing progress and you should be really proud! You and your equally wonderful, gorgeous daughter, Andie, make a great team!

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Robyn October 7, 2013 at 8:52 am

Maryellen absolutely looks smaller! And younger too in my opinion. And I love how that little pug is always creeping into the photos – he must follow her everywhere!

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Catherine October 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

You look great, Maryellen!! I can clearly see the difference in the photos. Also, I wanted to recommend a product that I drink everyday. It is La Croix, carbonated water in cans. No sugars, calories, sweeteners or artificial anything. The flavors are orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, to name a few. Maybe it will help with your soda craving and be a bit healthier than the artificial sweeteners you are currently consuming. I haven’t had soda in over 3 years and I don’t miss it a bit. Keep up the good work :)

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Jennifer October 7, 2013 at 9:07 am

Maryellen–you said in your post that you didn’t think you look all that different. No way–you look FAN.TAS.TIC. You look ten years younger and you are smiling so much broader. You are doing so well, and it’s great to hear that you’re becoming in-tune with the foods you eat and how they make you feel. That’s so hard–and so important!

Keep it up, you are amazing!

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Lauren @ The Highlands Life October 7, 2013 at 9:13 am

You look awesome Maryellen!!! I love these progress photos and I bet you do too! You can see how hard you’ve worked!

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Donna October 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

Andie, Thanks so much for the fish sandwich recipe. I’m building my very own Healthy Recipes notebook and your recipes are front and center. I am so impressed by your loving approach to weight loss and healthy eating where shame and guilt are not part of the equation.

Maryellen, I can absolutely see that you are slimmer, and you look lovely. But I understand. Sometimes our body image cannot keep up with us as we lose weight. Your too big clothes are proof positive that you really are much smaller. You need never apologize for your food or drink choices, or any life choice for that matter. You only need to know that we are cheering for you as you make changes to live a healthier and more fulfilled life.

We anxiously await every post (but Andie, this doesn’t mean you need to work yourself into the ground composing blog posts. Live your life and share when you can!)

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Jess October 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

I love that the dog appears in all three shots somewhere!
Great job, Maryellen!!! You look amazing!

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Stephanie Hanson October 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

Maryellen – YOU LOOK AMAZING!!! I can’t believe you don’t see a difference…I see a significant change. Although it may be more subtle – look at the smile on your face from the first photo to the third. That in and of itself is telling! You look absolutely fantastic and should be so proud of everything you have accomplished. As someone who lost 20 pounds and have kept it off for over a year now, I am so inspired by your progress. Each step is important and you can’t discount all the hard work it took to get here. I share in your food guilt occasionally, but found that when I want a piece of fudge…I just eat a piece of fudge! It’s ok to have what you want once in a while (Andie has told me that in personal emails and I continue to tell myself that when I get down on food guilt).

Keep up the AMAZING work – you are an inspiration and I am so excited to watch your progress through this journey. You absolutely will make it to your goal…don’t let the holidays get you down!

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Amanda October 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

The minute I opened this post, I was blown away by the radiance in your face and smile
in this most recent set of photos. That, far more than any scale, shows your progress. I haven’t weighed myself in ten years, since I began recovery for an eating disorder, and no matter what the numbers say, what is eternally consistent is how you (you, me, everyone) physically feel. Truly, you are glowing, and that says it all. Weight loss and maintenance is a lifelong journey, emotionally and physically. Congratulations for so bravely, and successfully, taking care of yourself and inspiring so many along the way.

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Theresa October 7, 2013 at 11:06 am

Maryellen, I can’t believe you think you don’t look any different! I noticed the different right away. You’re slimmer all over, especially in the mid-section and face. You even look happier and younger than your week 1 photo! So impressed and inspired by how well you’ve stuck with it and how much success you’ve achieved.

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Christina October 7, 2013 at 11:23 am

Maryellen, you look fabulous!!!!! Own your success.

I have had a hard time seeing my progress too. I noticed, that when I have a hard time seeing my progress, I tend to gain the weight back. The thought pattern goes something like this: “if I am still fat anyway, why even try?!” Then I gain weight back and am disappointed in myself and think “I looked great then, what was I thinking?!”

In addition to Andie’s suggestion to work on the shame surrounding your cravings, I encourage you to work on loving your body. It takes consistent, effortful practice. Be kind to yourself as you practice and potentially ‘slip up’ and think negative thoughts of yourself. It is essential that you are kind to yourself. You can start by looking in the mirror and saying out loud to yourself – I love my body. Say it a few times. It will probably feel awkward at first (it did for me!), but it will start to feel more natural the more you practice. I have found that by repeating my positive mantra daily, I am more able to see my weight loss and see how beautiful my body really is. It has also really helped me to remind myself daily that I am much, much more than this physical body. So, I also encourage you to connect to your spirituality regularly to remind yourself that you are much more than a physical being.

So much love and compassion to you♥

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts October 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Amazing changes!! Not only can you see that you are smaller, but look at that smile – you can tell how much better you feel!!
Congrats on all the success, it is not an easy road.

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ArtistMum October 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Andie……..your mom looks terrific! Both of you are such an inspiration!
All the meals you made for her are very do-able for anyone. Thanks for giving others something to follow!

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Cinnamon Vogue October 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Maryellen keep the faith. With all over support you can reach your target. There is a a very attractive women underneath the weight and we are beginning to see it. Bravo.

By the way how come you don’t like Tea? If you try our Ceylon Cinnamon Tea (without milk) with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar, we are sure you will change your mind. It has a rich deeply satisfying flavor. Cinnamon will leave you feeling fuller since it is a powerful digestive that helps the body absorb nutrition better, especially important as we get older. It is also the second most powerful anti-oxidant spice in the World and helps with memory, concentration and alertness.

You can dilute the Cinnamon Tea into a Cinnamon Iced Water, and have it through the day. We sent Andie some but if you want more just send us an email.

Andie, love your fish sandwich.

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ciely October 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Maryellen
I wish you got the same thrill I did when I saw your progress pictures.
To debunk “not sure you look different” your clothes aren’t bunching around your abdomen!
Oh, and buy a Sodastream…you can flavor the carbination with anything you like.

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Sharon D. October 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Maryellen, You look great! And Andie, What a caring, wonderful daughter you are!! I can see such an improvement in the progress photos, but more importantly…such an improvement in your overall attitude and eating habits. I love reading this inspirational blog. :)

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Katie B. October 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Maryellen, you are such an inspiration! And although you said you can’t really see a difference in the pictures, I have to tell you… all the rest of us do. I think the first thing I notice in the pictures is how much bigger your smile is. Keep it up! I have no doubt 170 by Christmas is reachable for you!!

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Nancy A. October 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I can definitely see changes in you! You look so good, you feel proud that you have done such a great job of sticking with it. You are doing great and have a great helper!!

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Jenn October 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Wow wow wow wow wow! Amazing work, you two!

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Aerevyn October 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Just found your blog, and I love how spunky and delicious it is. I love how you are so for real about weight loss, but are also for real about what it IS and what it is NOT. I, too, have been waiting for my life to begin, and I realize that the fat is only part of the issue, and I ain’t gonna be able to hide once its gone. Interesting. Daunting. Would explain why a lot of people regain weight, I think.

Maryellen, you get smaller and smaller in each pic, and your smile gets bigger and bigger. It’s as if the life in you is becoming more concentrated. Your eyes are so delighted and sparkly. And I think I see the beginnings of collar bones!

And I love your pug. My puggle here, snoring gently at my feet, waiting anxiously for chicken, says hello!

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Shari Liming October 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm

You look AWESOME! I can see a big change. I agree with others, you have a huge smile and seem very happy.
Thanks to both of you for your inspiration and honesty in this journey.

Keep it up!

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Sue Fernandes October 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Maryellen, Oh my goodness, you look so fabulous!!!!!! You are such an inspiration! Good for you, you’ve worked so hard and it certainly shows! You’re a beautiful woman (and always were!)
xo Sue

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Kelly October 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

The photos look great-such a difference from week 1!

In regards to the dry English muffin for breakfast it’s not the dryness so much that makes me curious but I can’t imagine that would be filling. I know everyone is different and you eat a variety of food for breakfast but I would be very hungry five minutes later!

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Silvia October 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

You looked beautiful in your “before picture” and you look just as beautiful in your “updated picture.” Only there’s less of you. Noticeably–your gorgeous face has more definition.

And I’m sure your next physical is going to show very different results (confirming your experience with less back pain and easier movement).

Awesome, MaryEllen!!! Four months! Wow…Again, you’re going to be looking AND feeling GREAT while toasting on New Year’s Eve!!

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Kate October 7, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Andie, for Christmas you need to get yo’ momma a better mirror so she can see how great she looks!

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Becky W. October 7, 2013 at 11:10 pm

I have been reading your progress with great interest since I am on my own weight loss journey. Andie, you and your mom have been such an inspiration to me! Your love for each other shines through on every post. Even though you may think you are only talking about food, your little comments and Maryellen’s notes at the end really complete the story for me. That is not why I am commenting though. I needed to speak to Maryellen’s comment about not seeing much change in the pictures. Maryellen, I can’t even begin to describe the changes I see in your progress pictures. You are the incredible shrinking woman! Please, please, please start looking at yourself in the mirror and really get to know yourself again. Not only get to know yourself, but really start to love yourself. The biggest area of change I notice in your pictures are your neck, your stomach and back, and your tush, but the biggest change I can see is your smile and the sparkle in your eye. That is why you are doing this. Please don’t lose your motivation because of some stupid pictures that don’t look much different, because the big difference comes from within you and it is shining out for all the world to see! You go Girl!! :)

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Christine October 8, 2013 at 1:26 am

Your mom looks amazing!!!
Also, I love that the dog is in alomst every single picture :)

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Chezzie October 8, 2013 at 2:51 am

I love the Pug getting in on the act too!

I made the meatloaf with sweet potato mash and sprouts last night, absolutely delicious, my neighbour and her daughter ate with me and wanted the recipe.

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robin October 8, 2013 at 6:53 am

I find this so fun that in four months Ive lost 30 pounds too! Im going on 51 I don’t know how old your mom is and I have a daughter who is 25. Its been fun following her progress because I wondered if I should be losing faster then what I have been.

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Maryellen October 8, 2013 at 8:33 am

Hi
I am 57 years old.

Maryellen

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Daniela October 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

Amazing progress! It may be harder to see the changes in yourself, because they are so gradual, but there is such a HUGE, huge difference between the first and last pictures. Forget the numbers on the scale, you are looking more and more vibrant these days. Full of energy and life! Just years younger.

It’s so inspiring to see you adopting habits that serve you better. You are absolutely worth it! When you treat yourself better you have more energy left over for the people you love and the things you love to do.

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Jessica October 8, 2013 at 8:17 am

Maryellen,

You have done such an amazing job on this weight loss plan! In June, I started on my plan to look good for my engagement pictures at the end of September, and lost about 12 pounds by August by spinning and doing the old Weight Watchers points plan. Then, work started getting incredibly stressful and I started feeling tremendous pressure to lose more weight. Sadly, I caved and gained 9 pounds back in about a month by eating compulsively. It seems like you have been able to figure out how to cope with stress in ways that don’t involve food, which is the crucial link for many of us. Life is always going to have its ups and downs, but we can still figure out a way to stay healthy. Being consistent is so important, and you are such an inspiration :)

Andie,

I was hoping you could share a piece about emotionally moving on from regaining weight and staying motivated to lose again. It would mean a lot – thanks.

Jessica

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Fernanda October 8, 2013 at 9:17 am

Maryellen,
Are you kidding me? You look completely different, congratulations!!!! Oh and you made me laugh so much on the previous post… I lost some weight too and was a little upset getting rid of the clothes I bought when I was overweight. I was so tempted to keep them “just in case”, but no! I am not going back to that weight again and plus it’s so fun to buy new clothes now.

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Jen October 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

Wow! You’re mom looks amazing! The transformation is really inspiring! Thanks for sharing this!

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Jen October 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Woohoo! Go, Maryellen! I have been following your progress since the beginning. You have really stuck with it and it’s paying off. You look aaaamazing. You have inspired me to keep on trekking in my own weight-loss journey. I’ve lost about 50 pounds so far, but still have another 40 to go. It can be daunting, because I see how much I still have to go, but it helps so much more to see how far I’ve come! Yes, the holidays are looming up ahead. I love the holidays, but when you’re trying to keep a healthy lifestyle to lose weight it can be tough, especially with all the homemade goodies around. But don’t cheat yourself of things that you love and crave like fudge sundaes and Christmas cookies. That’s no fun! Those things are a part of enjoying life. You’re right, “balancing” the sweets with other good foods is the best thing. I am going to try to do that, too. Rooting for you. Let’s do this!

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Nikki Rae October 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Amazing! This is a wonderful series. I enjoy following her progress every week.

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Kim October 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Maryellen!! You look fabulous girl! Keep on keepin’ on! You can DO IT!! :)

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Meg October 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Fantastic! I hope that you feel as great as you look, Maryellen.

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Anna October 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Such an obvious difference between week 8 and 16! Of course you can see it! If not in your body, definitely in that smile of yours and that says e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Congrats on your accomplishments so far! Keep up the good work! We’re all still rooting you along!

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Lynn October 9, 2013 at 9:59 am

I must repeat the chorus – Maryellen, you look uh-mazing. Totally inspirational. It makes me sad that you can’t see how much you’ve changed, because the rest of us sure can!

Seeing these pix today has literally Made My Day. You are kickin’ butt, and so is your personal chef. Go ladies!!! xoxo!!!

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LG October 9, 2013 at 10:40 am

Wow – that’s quite a difference! Nice work!!! One day at a time…

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Ti October 9, 2013 at 11:03 am

Way to go on the progress! You both make it all look easy!

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Lindsey Renee October 9, 2013 at 11:57 am

You look great!! I know it is so hard but you’re doing a great job and the difference is visible.”

Good luck!

-Lindsey

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Aerevyn October 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Contact high!

I keep coming back and looking at the great pics and the big changes and getting the biggest smile on my face.

Way. To. Go.

(Hello to the pug)

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Kathy Sennott October 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

WTG Maryellen!!! You look awesome. Keep up the good work!!

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Ray October 11, 2013 at 8:58 am

Wow! very inspiring.

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Jono October 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I definitely think drinking mainly water, and cutting out the daily soda, is best.

However, there is no need to become one of those diet drink alarmists! I have a Coke Zero once a week or every couple of weeks, and don’t feel the least bit guilty. As long as it’s not every day and just once in a while in reasonable quantities, you can have anything you want!

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Tina October 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Maryellen,

You are such a beautiful woman! You are lovely before and after :) good luck on the rest of your journey :-)

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CathyG October 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Wow, you are a great team!

The way you held on, even in the weeks when nothing seemed to happen, at least on the scale, is an inspiration for everybody. And you really do look different, believe it!

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Lea October 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I can see a big difference in your pictures Maryellen!!!!! You look great! I think that your goal to be 170 by Christmas is one that you will surpass.

I think it’s so awesome you guys are doing this together – I look forward to these posts! I really like the interjections Andie throws in there :)

http://leaslosinit.blogspot.com/

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Sarah October 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Maryellen, you look phenomenal! I’ve been passively following your weight loss progress on Andie’s blog here, but the photos REALLY put your progress in perspective. There is SUCH a beautiful change! I lost a good deal of weight a year ago, and at first had trouble seeing it myself. Give it a month or two and you’ll realize your progress has had you looking like a total babe for so long! :) Bravo!

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Ariel October 13, 2013 at 9:27 pm

You and DeeDee look amazing!!!!!!

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Debbie@Happy, healthy, fit and fine October 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Maryellen, you look amazing. Your progress is great. Sounds like you’re getting a real variety of food every week so you’re not bored. Keep up the good work.

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Sarah October 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

OMG you look amazing! All your hard work is paying off, 16 weeks has made a huge difference! Good for you!! This is really inspiring, keep up the good work!!

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lovers November 2, 2013 at 4:20 am

GOD work :) congrats Maryellen

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Leanne November 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I know I’m a little late to responding to this post… I’m playing catch up… but oh my gosh MaryEllen… the proof is in the photos! You look amaaaaazing! Your skin even seems brighter. What an inspiration you are!

Ps. Ms. Andie… I miss you! I got a new twitter handle… @makeuphillster follow me so I can DM you!

xoxo

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SammyCee November 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Hi,

I just wanted to say what an inspiration you are for motivating weight loss and that I’ve been able to follow your mom’s progress (who is looking great by the way! congrats to her).

Thanks for sharing!

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Victoria November 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm

WoW! Oh Wow! You do too look different. And look at that fabulous smile on your face! I am so envious. I wish my daughters would put me on a diet. But thanks to you and Andie, I am making small changes to lose this huge amount that I have packed on since getting married almost ten years ago. It’s just so much more difficult at this stage in my life (just turned the big 6-0!!!) But I have committed to walking on my treadmill or outside in good weather for one hour a day until I can do some other exercise tricks. And I have committed to eating better so I joined Bountiful Baskets and pick up a basket of veggies and fruits in my area every week. Eating more veggies is make a difference. I also gave up coffee and diet sodas. I only drank the diet sodas when I work two days a week. I found that I love AdvoCare products that a co-worker shared with me. — especially the Spark drink that I drink first thing in the morning instead of coffee (although it does contain about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of regular coffee), and their vitamins that make me feel so much better and without guilt, And now I feel like getting out of my comfy sofa.

Thanks for sharing your amazing journey and documenting your eating plan and progress. It helps so much to see someone succeed and know that surely we can do this too. Just wish I could move up there and have Andie really put me on a stricter diet. But I will continue to follow you two and join in here in Texas as best I can.

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Lauren November 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm

I like that she looks so much happier by week 16!

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Soumya @ Oishi recipes November 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I have gained a lot of pounds after my delivery. I think I should also try this. This is amazing..

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Kimberly Briskey December 4, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Maryellen! you should be so proud of yourself! What a difference! Slow and steady wins the race and you are a winner…. I have about as much to lose as you did, you’re my hero.. Thanks for sharing!

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Mac Dodds December 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Wow,

Congratulations on your success so far! You can totally keep this up, a healthier lifestyle is better for everyone.

Live Good,
Mac Dodds M.A., Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
livegoodfitness.com

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Lori January 5, 2014 at 7:51 am

Seriously! You so look different. Just found your blog and can identify so much with your post … Things I Dont Regret… I hope your Mom met her goal by Christmas. Glad to find your blog. I will be reading it. Thanks.

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Sam Athelete January 7, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Losing weight shouldn’t be as hard as many people try to make it. People who are desperate to achieve weight loss are often prone to take more risks. The only reason most people fail in their fitness goals is that they have good intentions at first to adopt a new lifestyle, yet after a few weeks or months, they abandon their good intentions and slip right back into their old bad habits that gave them the excess body fat in the first place.

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